App-based Tandem Bank is launching a top credit card for use abroad, offering fee-free spending and overseas cash withdrawals PLUS 0.5% cashback on all purchases. Here's how it stacks up against our current top picks.

The Tandem Cashback Credit Card, which has a waiting list you can join from today, will have the following features:

  • No non-sterling transaction fees on spending or cash withdrawals overseas. Don't use it to get cash out in the UK though – it has ATM fees here of 2.5% of the withdrawal or £2.50, whichever's higher.
  • You'll earn 0.5% cashback on all purchases of £1+, including those made overseas. There's no limit on the cashback you can earn, and it'll be paid to your card account every month on your statement date.
  • If you don't pay off your balance in full each month, you'll be charged 18.9% rep APR on purchases. Poorer credit scorers could be charged 22.9% or 24.9% rep APR.
  • Cash withdrawals will incur interest each month charged at 18.9% APR even if you pay off your balance in full. So aim to pay off cash withdrawals as soon as possible after making them. Poorer credit scorers could be charged 22.9% or 24.9% rep APR.

To apply for the card, you'll need to be 18 or over and have three years' address history in England, Scotland or Wales – Tandem says those in Northern Ireland are unlikely to be eligible for the card. You'll also need to earn at least £13,000 a year.

When will the Tandem card be available?

Tandem's launched a waiting list for applications for the card from today – when you sign up you'll need to include your name, email address and postcode. Tandem says it will use this info to do a 'soft' credit search – ie, one that you can see on your file but lenders can't – to see how likely you are to be accepted for the card.

Tandem says it will initially allow applications from its 'co-founders' – existing users of the Tandem app – and will then start allowing applications from others on the waiting list next month, though there is no clear indication as to when applicants will receive their cards.

How does the Tandem card stack up?

It's unusual for a credit card to offer no fees abroad and cashback, and the Tandem card will be one of our top picks when available. It has the same fees and interest as the Halifax Clarity card, which doesn't come with cashback.

Its main rival at the top of the table is the Barclaycard Platinum travel card. If you make a lot of cash withdrawals overseas, the Barclaycard could win as it doesn't charge any interest on non-sterling withdrawals if you pay off your balance in full each month.

However, the Barclaycard doesn't pay cashback, so if you make a lot of purchases the Tandem card could win. (It's also worth noting Barclaycard won't be fee-free after August 2022.)

Here's how the specialist overseas credit cards compare:

Top travel credit cards that charge no fees on purchases

Card issuer ATM fee Cash w/d interest (if repaid) Rep APR (if not repaid) Cashback Check your chances of getting it
Barclaycard Platinum travel* (1) Visa None None 18.9%; cash 27.9% (2) N/A Eligibility calculator
Tandem Cashback Credit Card Mastercard None 18.9%-24.9% 18.9%-24.9% 0.5% on purchases N/A
Halifax Clarity* Mastercard None 18.9%-25.9% 18.9% N/A Eligibility calculator
Creation Everyday Mastercard None 12.9%-21.9% 12.9% N/A N/A
Santander Zero* Mastercard None 18.9% 18.9% N/A Eligibility calculator
Aqua Reward* Mastercard £3 or 3% 44.9%-69.9% 34.9% 0.5% on purchases (max £100/yr) Eligibility calculator
(1) No non-sterling fees until 31 Aug 2022. (2) You'll pay interest on non-sterling cash withdrawals if you don't repay your balance in full each month. Sterling cash withdrawals attract interest from the day you make the withdrawal.

For full info on how the top cards compare and what to watch out for when using them, see our Travel Credit Cards guide.

What is Tandem?

Challenger bank Tandem specialises in giving customers insights into their spending – it'll tell you what you spent last month on eating out, for example – and helps with budgeting.

It recently announced that it's buying Harrods Bank which, if approved, will give Tandem a full banking licence. This would allow it to offer other banking products such as savings and current accounts.